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Hong Kong Ladies Open Second-Round Recap
Date:2015-06-06

Another young Taiwanese rookie shines at the 2015 Hong Kong Ladies Open as 17-year-old Chen Yu-Ju (陳宇茹), who turned pro only in January, posts a second straight 71 in difficult scoring conditions to hold the lead heading into Sunday’s final round. Korean Lee Jeong Hwa also climbs up atop the leaderboard alongside Chen at 142 with a second-round even-par 72.

First-round co-leader Cheng Ssu-Chia (程思嘉) faltered under extreme heat to card a 7-over 79 in which saw seven bogeys, plummeting down the standings to a tie for 13th at 148. Chances for a first title as a pro for the 2014 Xiamen Open winner seem slim.

The other two coming into today with a lead at 3-under, Taiwan’s Yeh Hsin-Ning (葉欣寧) and Thailand’s Wichanee Meechai, wrapped up Saturday at the Hong Kong Golf Club (HKGC) with 74 and 76 respectively but both still within hunting distance for the trophy. Meechai is looking for back-to-back victories after winning in the 2015 Yeangder TLPGA Open.

The course played tougher as the temperature continued to rise up on a steaming day at the Old Course HKGC. Cheng, who has a high world ranking at number 118 among all fellow competitors, struggled to find her concentration battling heat distress. She even took a one-stroke penalty on her second warning on Hole 6 for time violation.

“It was a first for me (taking the penalty for taking too much time). It was just an unlucky day out there,” said the 17-year-old. “I was already feeling unwell before the round started and it just got worse. I felt like I was a shadow of myself, everything didn’t seem to work.”

The early clubhouse leader Chen Yu-Ju made three birdies and two bogeys for another 71 showing. She is eyeing also her first win on the TLPGA Tour, whose previous best start was a T10 at this year’s Taifong Ladies Open. Later in the afternoon, Lee Jeong Hwa jumped up to level Chen thanks to a well-executed eagle on 17th. “It was so hot and humid. I was not playing good,” said Lee. “But that eagle saved my day. I hope I can have a better day tomorrow and hopefully getting my first win here.”

Taiwanese Yeh Hsin-Ning and amateur Chen Chih-Min (陳之敏) now sit tied, one shot off the lead. “I still tend to over-think when the chance presents itself,” Yeh said of her 2-over 74 second-round. “I think about five short birdie putts were left on the course. I’m glad I still remain in good contention wasting so many opportunities. I will try to enjoy it as much in tomorrow’s final round and hopefully read those putt lines better.”

The cutline was set at 15-over 159 after 36 holes were finished today, with 65 players (12 amateurs included) moving on for a chance for the final champion check worth $18,000 and the Rolex Women’s World Rankings points.

The final round kicks off tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. while the final group tees off at 11:10 a.m..

This event marks the first travel of the TLPGA Tour down to the Fragrant Harbour. On the pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday, the organizing committee announced to contribute HKD$100,000 from event sponsor Friends of Asia HK, to the HK Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry to improve the medical tools and resources and to increase breast cancer awareness and advocacy.

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